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Quick Reaction: 8x19 Taxi Driver

Wow. Okay... that was jam packed.

Let's dive right in...

We begin with Kevin, who is having REALLY FUCKED UP hallucinations. Geeeeeeeeeeeezus.

And then the Winchesters arrive! And they're like "be cool, Kevin, it's all good." But it is not all good. It is not all good at all.

Well, it's partially good, Kevin's deciphered the second task. Sam has to save an innocent soul from hell, which means that he must first go to hell.

Time to trap a crossroads Demon! So, apparently you CAN summon a demon directly into a devil's trap. Why is this the first time they're doing it? I don't know. Poor demon is having a bad day, first the Winchesters complain that he's not a hot chick, and then they tie him to a chair and torture him for information. What I found interesting though was that the demon was willing to talk to them as long as they promised to kill him afterwards - fear of Crowley outweighs fear of death, which I think is a mistake on Crowley's part, personally. But then, maybe this particular crossroads demon has a little bit of a death wish to begin with.

Apparently there are freelance Reapers... or rogue Reapers, who for a price, will ferry souls to different afterlives. Sam and Dean run off to find one said Reaper, Ajay. Ajay is a middle-eastern man who drives a Taxi, which immediately mad me think of the Ifrit in American Gods by Neil Gaiman...which, in my mind, was the best short story in American Gods. Sadly, Ajay is not an Ifrit.... he IS a freelancing reaper though.

This is where Americans will have to confirm something for me... I'm assuming a "Coyote" is someone who maybe smuggles illegal immigrants over the mexico border? Because I didn't know that reference, and that's my best guess.

Ajay drops the bombshell that he was the one who took Bobby to hell. I was so busy thinking about how this finally answers the question of where ghosts go when they're bones are burnt, that I completely missed the information that BOBBY was in HELL.

Now, I know a lot of people, after seeing last week's promo about rescuing an innocent soul from hell, were like "ADAM!!" but Adam is in the Cage people. It might be hell adjacent, but it's not hell. So, no, in this case, Bobby is their perfect candidate for an innocent soul in hell. Bobby's hardly innocent by most religious people's standards, mind, but by Supernatural-Universe standards, he is one of the good guys who does not deserve to be in hell.

So, it's time for Sam to follow a strange man into an alley and touch in the dark... uh... I mean, they have to hold hands.

Oh, before we get to that part though - Are Sam and Dean REALLY that shocked when a supernatural being already knows who they are?! A REAPER no less? Though, there WERE things about this reaper that irked me...a LOT of things, actually, but I'll get to those later. Here, I just wanted to say that I really love when the Winchester's reputations precede them.

Anyway, back to Sam touching strange men in alleys....

I LOVED the VFX of the graffiti melting and swirling together and towards the door. Really neat.

And this is where we find out that the Reaper's back door to hell is through purgatory. Now, THIS was a cool addition to reaper lore - the fact that the reapers knew exactly where purgatory was the whole time S6 was going on.

PURGATORY! SAM IS IN PURGATORY! Super cool. He's told to follow the stream to find the gate to hell and he does... meeting monsters along the way and finding his own purgatory weapon. Very cool.

Meanwhile, on the outside, Dean goes back to check on Kevin. Kevin is not doing so well. He's taken to hiding in the closet under the stairs like some sort of paranoid version of Harry Potter. Dean tries to give him the "power through it" speech, but um, I don't think Dean really has the best strategy when it comes to Kevin... everything he does seems to be the opposite of what that kid needs. Kevin steals Dean's pie and hides back in his closet.

And that's when Naomi shows up. Ooooooooooooooooo....I hate her so much! (In the way that I'm supposed to hate her, which means that Amanda Tapping is amazing and playing that character very very well.) She tries to lie to Dean about CAS! Like it's CAS that's crazy and it wasn't her intention at all to kill Dean, and URG! HOW DARE SHE! Thankfully, Dean doesn't trust angels, and he's not buying what she's selling... but damn, I think some of what she said sowed seeds in his mind. I mean, she's so emotionally manipulative! GEEZ. I HATE HER.

And the worst part is that when Dean says he doesn't trust angels, she points out that he hasn't warded the boat against them... and that they both just want Cas to "come out of the cold" and ...oh man, sadness forever, because Dean in genuinely worried about his friend, but Naomi is just a manipulative jerkface. Rah.

Luckily she leaves.

At some point, we cut to Crowley who is chatting with some girl about what the Winchesters could possibly be up to and why hasn't she found him Kevin yet? And...well, is that girl a demon? Because she's wearing a very nice suit... and we all know what species wears very nice suits in this world. That being said, if she WERE an angel, well, the boat's not warded against angels... but then, maybe that doesn't mean anything either...but we'll get to that.

Meanwhile, Sam's found hell. It's very stereotypically hell-like. He manages to find Bobby and gets a punch in the face for his efforts.

As well he should, because Bobby has been tortured by Sam and Dean look-a-likes for close to 240 years, if we follow Dean's estimate of hell-time. All things considered, he's looking pretty good... but that's probably because there's no reason to break Bobby quickly, like the demon's needed to do with Dean... maybe time is under the demon's control too, and they it's actually just been close to 2 years for Bobby rather than 240... we don't know.

I LOVE how Sam convinces Bobby it's him - Tori Spelling, the pedicures - "You made Dean swear never to tell another living soul!" - and I love how Bobby is just like IT IS YOU! Because OF COURSE Dean told Sam, and Bobby knows it. It's just... so Sam'n'Dean. "I can prove I'm me, because remember that time you told my other body that...."

It's HUGGY TIME! And then it's FLEE HELL time! I loved the two Sam's in the corridor, and Sam's nervous "You could tell somehow it wasn't me, right?" and Bobby's like "uh, no, 50/50 chance."

Mostly though, and I'm going to sound like a complete Sam!girl for this, which I'm not (I love everyone equally, thanks), but I LOVE the fact that it's SAM who got to be the rescuer and it's SAM who got to have another meeting with Bobby. Sam gets such little interaction with anyone who is not Dean that it can get a bit annoying.

That being said, this episode is also about how Dean's bromances come to the rescue! :)

Because, while Sam is fleeing through hell, Crowley has tracked down the Ajay. And THIS is where I get a little annoyed....

1. Reapers are not supposed to be visible to the living, let alone moonlighting as taxi drivers.
2. Reapers answer to death, not demons, Ajay should NOT have been afraid or had to justify himself to Crowley.
3. You can't kill Reapers unless you have Death's sickle.

So, yeah, get your facts straight, or rename your supernatural being, thanks. It REALLY pisses me off when there are such blatant continuity mistakes in the mythology.

Anyway, poor Ajay dies.

Which means that DEAN IS FREAKING OUT! I forget how the hell he finds out that Ajay's path to hell was through purgatory... was that Naomi? Crowley? Seriously, I completely forget. But, the fact remains that Dean finds out that Sam is stuck in purgatory and DOESN'T EVEN KNOW HE'S STUCK.

Because that's the main problem. Dean knows there's a way out of purgatory for Sam, but he also knows that Sam's not going to start looking for it if he doesn't know he's trapped... furthermore, it took Dean months to find the door. Which means that Dean's going to have to call in a favour...

The phone conversation with Benny was SO WELL done. I'm giving Jensen major kudos there, because the whole time they're on the phone, Dean has that quality to his voice - you know the one - the tone of voice that people adopt when they're trying to be all casual, but they're hearts racing and they think they might cry, and they're super nervous and scared, because they don't know what to do... god, it BROKE MY HEART.

And it also broke my heart because Benny is like "HEY! It's so nice to hear your voice! Does this mean you aren't breaking up with me anymore?!!? :D :D :D"

But Benny comes to the alley and Dean explains... and "When Dean Winchester asks you for a favour, he really asks you for a favour..." Benny is the only one who can help Sam, because he'll go straight to purgatory when he dies and he knows right where the door is.

At this point, I said "He probably wants to go back. Earth sucks, and he was doing really well for himself in purgatory" and my friend chimed in with, "yeah.. got himself a pretty boyfriend..." And we laughed.

But we weren't actually off the mark. Benny agrees... and it's obvious that he's decided then and there to make it a one way trip. Revenge was the driving force for coming back, and he got that... and that's the problem with achieving your dreams really. What's next? It's even worse when you're a social pariah with an addiction to human blood.

He doesn't tell Dean though, he lets Dean have the lie that Benny will ride out with Sam and meet Dean in Maine. I suppose you could call him a coward for not saying goodbye, but I think he recognized that unless he let Dean believe he was coming back, Dean probably wouldn't behead him.

It's also interesting from a spatial perspective how the entries and exits to purgatory work. It's as though Purgatory is another world overlaid over our own. Benny arrives in Purgatory right where Sam is, because Dean killed him in the alley where Sam disappeared. Which makes me wonder what city they were in - because if they were in Missouri (where Garth's boat is) than that's a VERY long walk to Maine... unless the spatial dynamic inside purgatory are different, and you can walk from Missouri to Maine in the time it takes Dean to drive the same distance... this is all time-lining stuff, of course... just how long was Dean waiting in those woods? How long did Sam, Benny, and Bobby walk through purgatory?

I'm getting ahead of myself though... Benny shows up and Sam recognizes him and stays Bobby's hand. Bobby has a huge problem with the idea that Dean befriended a vampire.

Oh hey, before that though... Bobby's talking to Sam about the fact that he didn't look for Dean, and HE has a problem with it too - saying that he helped the Winchesters MAKE the agreement not to look for each other and even he knows it's a non-agreement. This all raises the question of: If you're the only one that actually honours an agreement, does that make you the bad guy? Or, in D&D terms, is Sam's problem that he's the one lawful good character in a chaotic good family?

Also, a word about Bobby - man, Bobby REALLY has a problem with the whole "letting go" deal, doesn't he? I mean, this whole episode, no matter how many times Sam corrects him, Bobby still talks as though Sam and Dean should be finding away to bring him back to the land of the living ASAP. Bobby's refusing to go into retirement tooth and nail. The thing is though, I don't think going to heaven necessarily HAS to mean retirement for Bobby. Can you imagine the havoc Bobby and Ash could cause if they teamed up? And you know they're probably going to team up... maybe the most strategic place for Bobby's help IS heaven. But yeah... the whole "when it's your time, go!" speech when they burnt his flask? BOBBY SHOULD LISTEN TO IT. That being said, that was when Bobby thought that he was about to enter an atheists afterlife, so I'm not surprised he changed his tune when he discovered that like it or not, his soul is eternal.

Anyway, Benny shows up to lead Sam to the portal - and he does.

But when the time comes for Sam to transport Bobby and Benny out... Benny refuses to jump on board. He prefers Purgatory to the living world. It's kind of heartbreaking though, because I think Benny was just lonely. He seemed to be happy when he had Elizabeth... and now I'm thinking that him calling Dean and asking him to meet him for coffee wasn't about stamping down the urge to drink humans, it was about him being lonely and depressed and wanting a friend. So, yeah, it makes me super sad now. It was easier before to be like "Dean doesn't have time to be someone's A&A sponsor!" But now I'm like "Dean! You're friend was super lonely! Why didn't you go visit him!?!" :P

Sam staggers out of the portal and into the Maine wilderness where Dean is waiting for him. And really, wow, I can't believe Dean remembered what part of the woods the portal let him out into. And we get a you-just-got-back-from-hell/purgatory HUG!!!! Yay! HUGS FOR EVERYONE!

And then Sam has to break the news that Benny decided not to come back... and I'm pretty sure Dean is wondering why the hell his boyfriends keep abandoning him for purgatory... this is not going to help the abandonment issues.

They free Bobby's soul, but he gets attacked midair by a demon! CROWLEY is there! Oh no! All Sam's hard word for nought! But then Naomi shows up and saves the day...which really annoys me, because she is BAD NEWS, and I don't want Sam or Dean to feel like they owe her one or think that she might not be bad. She's obviously bad! She's also obviously an angel - so there goes those fan theories.

As they drive away, Dean tells Sam that he buried Benny, instead of salting and burning him. Sam says it's okay if Dean wants to "leave that door open" and he admits that he misjudged Benny. Awww...

Meanwhile, back on the boat, Kevin suffers another Crowley attack! This time the windows blow in and Crowley arrives in person to tell Kevin that they killed his mom (NOOooooooo!) and found the address of the boat off her phone, because she wouldn't give up his location under torture. And now Kevin has to come with Crowley...

Dean and Sam arrive sometime later to the boat to find it abandoned - INCLUDING ALL KEVIN'S NOTES!

BUT...the windows are intact. So, was Crowley actually there or was that another dream? This is my current theory - and this is where that girl with the suit comes in... if the boat isn't warded against angels, than I'm pretty sure only angels knew where Kevin was... and if only angels knew where Kevin was, then perhaps it was actually ANGELS that were messing with Kevin's head. Angel's messing with people's heads, does that sound familiar?! I'm wondering if Kevin and the Winchesters are stuck in the middle of another unholy alliance between heaven and hell, just like back in S4, when we discovered that both sides were working towards the apocalypse. That being said, Naomi and Crowley DO seem genuinely antagonistic with each other, so I'm not sure my theory holds water...but I guess time will tell!

All in all, really jam packed episode, and really good. My one complaint, if I were to complain, would be that I think this would have been even more awesome as a two-parter, so that we could relish and breath in the scenes a little more, and spend a little more time with the characters. As good quality as the stand-alones have been this year, I think we could have easily lost one of them in favour of having this episode take place over 84 minutes instead of 42.

Anyway, with Kevin gone, I suppose I should be most concerned about Kevin... but I'm actually most concerned about Sam. I really think they need to figure out what that third trial is before Sam dies of TB (or whatever the trials have done to him)... though, this is Supernatural, and there's another season... so... are they really going to do the third trial? Or is failure inevitable?

Sadly, we have to wait another three weeks before we find out what happens next! :(


As usual, let me know what I missed, or what you'd like to discuss further, in the comments!

Comments

( 58 comments — Leave a comment )
ramblin_rosie
Apr. 4th, 2013 08:33 am (UTC)
Didn't watch (we thought for awhile today that This Was It for my parents' 17-year-old dog, and even though he's doing better, I just couldn't handle angst tonight), but a) yes, a coyote is someone who smuggles illegals from Mexico and b) you're the second person I've seen float the theory that it's angels that have Kevin, and I think it makes sense. I'm also glad that having the shoe be on the other foot helped Sam get at least some of what Dean had been through, why he trusted Benny, and why he was so hacked off that Sam didn't look for him. Sorry it took an experience that extreme, sure, but still... it's about time.
Very curious where things go from here!
hells_half_acre
Apr. 4th, 2013 08:31 pm (UTC)
I think Sam always understood why Dean was hacked off that Sam didn't look for him. But I'm glad that Sam found out why Dean trusted Benny so much.
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zestyzorra
Apr. 4th, 2013 08:35 am (UTC)
I totally hear you on the inconsistencies with the reaper! But, if I may, just for fun.... possibly come up with justifications? Let me know what you think:

1. Reapers are not supposed to be visible to the living, let alone moonlighting as taxi drivers.

Maybe he was visible so he could moonlight? Like, with any and all potential clients? Though I agree that the lack of visibility is a stretch here and totally lessens the sacrifice Pam made when the boys did astral projection.

2. Reapers answer to death, not demons, Ajay should NOT have been afraid or had to justify himself to Crowley.

I think this goes back to what you said about the crossroads demon... Crowley's uncompromising power and frightening reputation might have preceded him here. Plus, Crowley is kind of the new Lucifer, so maybe he has more power over reapers than a regular demon?

3. You can't kill Reapers unless you have Death's sickle

Crowley did kill the reaper with the angel sword. IIRC, someone (maybe it was Cas? Meg?) asked Crowley where he got one of those in the last episode, calling attention to it. We never got a definitive answer on what all those swords will work on, but I wouldn't be surprised that a reaper is included. Again, I think the sword makes everything a little too convenient (and takes away from "Death Takes a Holiday"'s significance in the mythology), but with the precious time they have to tell the story each week, maybe they didn't want to rehash the same territory?

Anyway, thank you for your reviews (as always)! They are fun and thought-provoking. I'd love to hear your opinion on this. :)
hells_half_acre
Apr. 4th, 2013 08:30 pm (UTC)
Maybe he was visible so he could moonlight? Like, with any and all potential clients?

This seems to be the answer people are favouring... and I begrudgingly accept it.

Crowley's uncompromising power and frightening reputation might have preceded him here. Plus, Crowley is kind of the new Lucifer, so maybe he has more power over reapers than a regular demon?

Also... okay, I guess, yeah...that makes sense.

IIRC, someone (maybe it was Cas? Meg?) asked Crowley where he got one of those in the last episode, calling attention to it. We never got a definitive answer on what all those swords will work on, but I wouldn't be surprised that a reaper is included. Again, I think the sword makes everything a little too convenient (and takes away from "Death Takes a Holiday"'s significance in the mythology), but with the precious time they have to tell the story each week, maybe they didn't want to rehash the same territory?

I think that was Meg in S7? Anyway, yeah... this is the one that still annoys me. But, I guess they never gave us a list of what the angel blade could and couldn't kill, so maybe I have no room to complain. :P

Thanks for the justifications! I do feel a LITTLE bit better about it.

My own justification for the angel blade is that maybe if a reaper is in corporeal form, they're more vulnerable - and that's why the blade worked. If they were in true reaper form, they can't be killed except by death's sickle.
liliaeth
Apr. 4th, 2013 09:40 am (UTC)
Didn't Dick Roman summon Crowley into a devil's trap back in s7?
hells_half_acre
Apr. 4th, 2013 08:24 pm (UTC)
He summoned him into a room and then turned a devil's trap "on" using a light overhead.

But someone else pointed out that Dean summoned Crowley into a devil's trap back in 7x01 when they wanted to bind Death. So, it's not actually the first time at all.
missyjack
Apr. 4th, 2013 10:01 am (UTC)
I totally agree with you that it would have been magnificent as a two part ep. The we could've really had the time to have Sam searching Hell for Bobby, and then battling their way out of Purgatory.

My fan wank on the reaper lore is that this was a rogue reaper, and he could choose to be seen by mortals... Oh and Sam and Dean summoned Crowley into a devils trap back in S6 when they wanted the way to bind death.

I thought there were great character moments for all f them i esp loved the scene with Benny and Dean. It was almost underplayed, which made it all the more emotional.

And i did love Bobby and his repeated harping on not wanting to be dead! Great ep!

Also - Sam's hair as he went thru the portal was quite magnificent
missyjack
Apr. 4th, 2013 11:20 am (UTC)
oh and I meant to say re: geography of Purgatory and Hell - we had long discussions about this on the Wiki when people were trying to work out if Lucifer;s cage was in Hell or Hell adjacent. I accept that they exist in another dimension, and like Heaven, neither space or time operate the same way there.

but for the record, the city where Dean killed Benny was Kansas City.
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raloria
Apr. 4th, 2013 10:21 am (UTC)
1. Reapers are not supposed to be visible to the living, let alone moonlighting as taxi drivers.
2. Reapers answer to death, not demons, Ajay should NOT have been afraid or had to justify himself to Crowley.
3. You can't kill Reapers unless you have Death's sickle.


I think a lot of things have changed since the failed apocalypse in Season 5. Whether that's by design or because the writers are getting sloppy with continuity as you said, I'm not sure we can ever know for sure. I'm thinking Ajay was visible because he was freelancing and not just working the normal reaper job. Death's been pretty much a no-show for a while now and I'm thinking Crowley's power is far-reaching at this point. Hell, when even his own crossroad demons are afraid of him, something's up. The whole killing a reaper with a sickle was one of the 66 Seals and that was with Alastair doing the killing. Crowley's the king of hell and seems to be nearly as powerful as Lucifer was by now (look how impossible it is to kill him!).

Anyway....I get your complaints about the reaper and you bring up some great points that I never even thought about. :)

hells_half_acre
Apr. 4th, 2013 08:15 pm (UTC)
I'm thinking Ajay was visible because he was freelancing and not just working the normal reaper job. Death's been pretty much a no-show for a while now and I'm thinking Crowley's power is far-reaching at this point. Hell, when even his own crossroad demons are afraid of him, something's up. The whole killing a reaper with a sickle was one of the 66 Seals and that was with Alastair doing the killing. Crowley's the king of hell and seems to be nearly as powerful as Lucifer was by now (look how impossible it is to kill him!).

Hmm... I still don't like the idea that reapers can be killed with angel blades though...but maybe I'm just being really nitpicky.

You have good reasoning, and I do feel a little better about the other points now.
ashkiryn
Apr. 4th, 2013 10:38 am (UTC)
Damn it, why did we have to get our proof of Benny's true loyalties in THE MOST HEARTBREAKING WAY POSSIBLE?????

I don't even care if Benny wanted to go back to Purgatory. LITERALLY DYING for your friend and letting him CHOP OFF YOUR HEAD so you can go to the Eternal Monster Grudge Match and help out his brother that doesn't even like you----godfuckingdammit, BENNYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY I DON'T EVEN CARE THAT YOU ARE A VAMPIRE ANYMORE, YOU ARE TOO FUCKING BEAUTIFUL FOR WORDS, AND YOU'RE JUST ONE OF THE BEST FRIENDS EVER, OKAY. LIKE, FUCK ME SIDEWAYS, MAN. *wibbles* Even when Dean wasn't really there for you, you were there for him ALWAYS when he needed you, and EXCUSE ME WHILE I SOB FOR HOURS.

*clutches Dean and continues sobbing grossly, because gee, I didn't even realize that both of his "boyfriends" abandoned him for Purgatory until you pointed it out and DEAN MY BABY, NOOOOO ;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;*

And BOBBYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY THAT FUCKING HUG YOU GAVE SAM, OMIGOD, FUCKING FUCK. (Also, please let Bobby join forces with Ash and Ellen and Jo in Heaven and have them take over the place behind Naomi's back or something, GOD PLEASE.) And while on the subject of hugs, THE WAY DEAN HUGGED SAM JUST STABBED ME IN THE HEART, OKAY, OHHHHHHH DEAN YOU ARE SUCH A MOM, MY GOD.

Also, I agree with you about Naomi needing to fuck the hell off. IF Y'ALL WANT A REASONABLE COSMIC AUTHORITY FIGURE, CALL ON DEATH FOR FUCK'S SAKE. Also also, it'd almost be a pity if Naomi is really an angel...my favorite theory is that she's one of the Fates, but we'll see, I guess. BUT DEAN, KEEP TO THAT LINE ABOUT NOT TRUSTING ANGELS. DON'T YOU DARE TRUST HER.

And just stating for the record, if Linda Tran really did die off screen, I will pitch a shitfit. Because fuck if she doesn't deserve to at least go out like the BAMF she is. Also, I keep muttering to the TV that Dean should bring her in to deal with her son's tweaking out. Because personally, whenever I'm freaked out a million ways from hell and if I was possibly hallucinating and delusional, I'd want my mommy. Also, we still haven't gotten any resolution from Kevin apparently ODing in "Trial and Error", I think it was, so I'm worried that he's, like, high or stoned or what the fuck ever, and that that's making things worse.

I agree that it was almost too much packed into one episode, and that it'd have been so much better with breathing room. At the very least, it wouldn't have made the Trial seem rather ridiculously easy by Winchester standards.

Oh, and I wish that they could at least have mentioned Adam, or something. Like, done a bit of theorizing. "Could we finally rescue Adam?" from Dean, and having Sam tell him, from personal experience, "No, Dean...we wouldn't be able to get to the Cage." You know? Anybody? Bueller?

And now I'll go back to gross sobbing and huggling Benny, and FUCK, AT LEAST LET HIM MAKE UP WITH ANDREA IN PURGATORY, OR WHATEVER.

(And the gross sobbing will continue as I realize that Dean basically isn't allowed to keep any of his friends, except maybe Charlie AND DON'T YOU DARE TAKE HER AWAY, SHOW, YOU'D BETTER NOT (and I don't know what he counts Garth, Kevin, and Krissy as, or even Aaron)).
hells_half_acre
Apr. 4th, 2013 08:12 pm (UTC)
LITERALLY DYING for your friend and letting him CHOP OFF YOUR HEAD so you can go to the Eternal Monster Grudge Match and help out his brother that doesn't even like you----godfuckingdammit, BENNYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY

He was, perhaps, the truest friend that Dean has ever had. :(

and HUGS FOR EVERYONE!

BUT DEAN, KEEP TO THAT LINE ABOUT NOT TRUSTING ANGELS. DON'T YOU DARE TRUST HER.

SECONDED!

And just stating for the record, if Linda Tran really did die off screen, I will pitch a shitfit. Because fuck if she doesn't deserve to at least go out like the BAMF she is. Also, I keep muttering to the TV that Dean should bring her in to deal with her son's tweaking out.

I really don't think she's dead. And I totally agree with you, I think when Sam and Dean saw the state Kevin was in last time, they should have called his mum.

Oh, and I wish that they could at least have mentioned Adam, or something. Like, done a bit of theorizing. "Could we finally rescue Adam?" from Dean, and having Sam tell him, from personal experience, "No, Dean...we wouldn't be able to get to the Cage." You know? Anybody? Bueller?

Agreed. A simple case of even the reaper saying, "the cage doesn't count as hell" or something would have sufficed - plus it would have given us an awesome flash of Sam-angst at the idea that he might have to go back there.

I guess we'll see what happens to Charlie when the show returns... but I highly doubt they'll be getting rid of anyone else anytime soon... though, the person I'm most worried about is Kevin.

borgmama1of5
Apr. 4th, 2013 12:07 pm (UTC)
I also thought this should have been two episodes!

I figured the normal reaper rules didn't apply to Ajay since he was rogue.

I should have expected that you would have calculated how long Bobby was in Hell--I did too, but haven't seen anyone else point that out :)

I am surprised that you didn't get annoyed with the ease of Sam getting into Hell and finding Bobby so quickly. Or the use of Bobby at all. See, to me, the way it was no big deal to find a way to get into Hell totally negates what happened to Sam after Dean went to Hell--if Sam had looked a little harder, he could have found out about rogue demons then. And this could have been easily fixed--one of those books in the Batcave could have told about rogue reapers, and since Sam didn't know about those books in seasons 3/4, no jarring inconsistency!

And it took a legion of angels storming Hell to get Dean out...Sam just had to walk down a corridor and fight off a handful of demons at the exit??? Really???

And ranting about Hell, seriously lame...a long hall with cells? I kept contrasting this with the tiny glimpse we got of Hell at the end of 3.16 with Dean suspended over nothing. Way scarier! And didn't Bobby look in amazing shape? All Crowley did was play mind games with him by sending in the boys? Sorry, but that doesn't fit with the torture-crazy King of Hell Crowley is now!

Since it didn't trigger your BS radar, I would love to hear you explanation of the reasons why I shouldn't be upset :)

And I am, sadly, done with Bobby. He had a magnificent death, and now that whole episode is no big deal...sigh.

With that in mind, wouldn't it have been a more effective story if Sam had to pick who was the innocent soul from among random strangers? Think what a great twist that would have been!

OTOH, the Benny part of the episode totally redeemed it. Just devastating, and perfectly played. *Wipes away tears*
percysowner
Apr. 4th, 2013 01:46 pm (UTC)
I could not agree with this more. This suddenly made a wreck of Dean going to Hell. It also made Sam not looking for Dean more unforgivable. The continuity issues in this were a mess.
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thursdaysisters
Apr. 4th, 2013 12:38 pm (UTC)
This was such a gorgeous ep as far as sets and special effects, the melting graffiti door? The sucking smoke portal into Hell? The eye piercing dude in the torture cell? Can we get this show more money so that EVERY episode is this wicked cool?

Benny's farewell scene, both topside and in Purgatory, was awesome, that is some proper man-pain.
hells_half_acre
Apr. 4th, 2013 07:37 pm (UTC)
Yes, the new VFX crew is amazing (or maybe it's the same VFX crew under new leadership - either way, amazing!)

I don't know if it's an increase in money, or just an increase in the awesomeness of the software and skill available to them, but they've been knocking it out of the park.

And yes, Benny was fantastic in this episode. :)
etoile444
Apr. 4th, 2013 12:50 pm (UTC)
I'm from NY, never heard the term coyote, I'll assume its west coast slang. As for the reaper, it was weird when you think about it. But let's go back to season five. How did Crowley have Deaths sickle? How did Crowley know Death was at the pizza place? Does Crowley work for Death. Is Crowley the angel of Death?

Honestly, when seasons are written so-so, I start looking for bigger and better reasons and explanations. I do love the idea of Bobby and Ash causing Naomi trouble in heaven.
hells_half_acre
Apr. 4th, 2013 07:35 pm (UTC)
Apparently my guess was accurate. It's people smuggling Mexicans (for all their money and or slavery, apparently...yikes!). Maybe it's slang from the states along the border.

Crowley didn't have Death's sickle, that was Alistair in S4, and we never found out how he got it. I don't think Crowley and Death are affiliated in any way, because Death was trying to warn Dean in S6 about what Cas and Crowley were up to (in a disapproving way.)
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katsheswims
Apr. 4th, 2013 01:35 pm (UTC)
I agree with you that this would have been a better two-parter. There was just so much happening, and I think if they spread it out a little they might not have had those inconsistencies and they could have explored reactions of Sam actually going to Hell better etc.

But despite the problems I did like the episode.
hells_half_acre
Apr. 4th, 2013 07:32 pm (UTC)
Likewise, likewise. I liked the episode so much that I wanted more of it. ;)
claudiapriscus
Apr. 4th, 2013 02:30 pm (UTC)
Coyotes are smugglers working the US/Mexican border. From the sound of it, it was a pretty good comparison. Coyotes are shady characters. A lot of times people using them to get across the border are lucky if all that happens is that the coyote takes them out to the middle of nowhere and tells them the price has gone up (to everything they have). Sometimes they just leave people to die in the desert. Sometimes they sell them into virtual slavery to pay off the "debt". Sometimes they extort people into working as drug mules. Sometimes they just hold people for ransom, or they just kill everyone, or sell the women and kids to brothels.
hells_half_acre
Apr. 4th, 2013 07:31 pm (UTC)
Yikes! Sounds like people would be better off with actual coyotes.
Wedge Antilles
Apr. 4th, 2013 09:23 pm (UTC)
I don't think you can really summon a demon into a normal sized devil's trap. Every time they've used a summoning spell the demon has appeared in the general vicinity not exactly where the spell was cast. That must be why the trap was so big and even then the demon appeared on the edge of the trap.

Something bugged me about Ajay the whole time and you figured out what it was. He's a cool character, he's just doesn't fit what a reaper is. I've decided to believe he's not a "real reaper" but something like Charon who ferried souls on the river sticks. His cool checkered cap replacing the boat. This makes him more of a pagan god explaining the rouge thing. I know the demon said "reaper" but I mean what else would you call a dude that does what he does. My theory also explains the fear of Crowley a little better. That's my comforting head cannon at least. On that same note I don't think Death would allow reapers to corrupt the system like that. After all he was all about the balance of natural order.

I thought hell was cool looking and I think the thing Zachariah said about the way Sam and Dean saw heaven applies to Hell too. They see what they expect because the reality would blow their mother-lovin' mortal minds. Also I'm curious what language the old guy with the ring in his eyes was speaking. It'd be cool if some of the people Sam saw were meant to be historical figures or something like that.

I also did love the idea of Bobby fighting back against angels in Heaven. Bobby will kick ass no matter where he is.
hells_half_acre
Apr. 4th, 2013 09:36 pm (UTC)
They actually did summon Crowley into a normal sized devil's trap in S7, someone pointed out. But yeah, I agree with you.

And ooo... I really like the headcanon of Ajay being a Charon-type character rather than one of Death's reapers. That makes much more sense and fits the cab iconography better.

HEADCANON ACCEPTED!

I agree about hell - the fact that we saw it as Sam perceived it, not as it actually was.

I'm also curious about the language the old guy was speaking - that was super creepy. It'd be pretty neat if they were actual historical figures - but they probably were just randoms.

Bobby is awesome. :)
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4422shini
Apr. 5th, 2013 02:33 am (UTC)
DID YOU SPOT THE BARN?? :D :D :D

It actually doesn't look a lot like a barn, more like an abandoned building (which is technically true).

The hell, while terribly stereotypical, is a really frickin' cool (and HUGE) set!

Yeah, the window thing confuses me. Not sure if that's terrible continuity, or the intentional set up. Kind of bugs me how unclear it is.
hells_half_acre
Apr. 5th, 2013 02:39 am (UTC)
I DID SPOT THE BARN!:)

I was going to mention the fact that they filmed hand-inserts for this episode too, and I completely forgot. :P

Hell looked really neat! (I don't actually mind that it was stereotypical, honestly). It would have been cool to spend more time in it.

Hmm...well, you'd know whether it was intentional set-up or terrible continuity better than I would. I guess we'll both have to wait and see?
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marlowe78
Apr. 5th, 2013 07:23 pm (UTC)
Hey there :-)

I really had loads of fun with this ep, and I can pretty much agree on most things with you. Especially about Naomi - that is one manipulative, smart bitch! She's really good - so good even that *I* believer her for a moment. Until I remembered that poor angel that was tortured by Crowley (Archi? The poor guy in the striped shirt)

1. Reapers are not supposed to be visible to the living, let alone moonlighting as taxi drivers.
2. Reapers answer to death, not demons, Ajay should NOT have been afraid or had to justify himself to Crowley.
3. You can't kill Reapers unless you have Death's sickle.


Hmmm, i might take out your fun here, but they are ROGUE reapers. Kinda fired from their jobs, I thought. So most things that count for the still-employed reapers - like being invisible and unkillable - might not apply to them any more. Which would also explain why they'd even THINK of smuggling souls. They have no job, are half-human, half-supernaturalbeing and they'd have to get a job.
Driving a taxi would be a good way to get more business on their other enterprise, like maybe driving someone from or to a funeral? Or well, just having griping people around. And it might make some money if the times are rough for coyoteing.

Also, since Crowley knows about their business, they very much might be afraid of him - they're stealing from him! It's a damn dangerous business. And I think it hangs a little bit on Crowley turning a blind eye or at least not taking their theft too seriously, since there's more important business. As long as they don't really steal someone really valuable... well. But they DID, or at least they brought a Winchester into Purgatory/Hell, so he's pretty much fucked.
And, he killed Ajay with an angel-sword. I forgot where he got it - maybe that poor angel he tortured to death? *shrugs*

So yeah, I don't think it was TOO far away from their own rules. Just bending them (pretty far, but no crack yet ;-))


marlowe78
Apr. 5th, 2013 07:23 pm (UTC)

That scene (the scenes) with Benny were amazing. I loved their casual heartbreak, and how it seemed much worse for Dean than for Benny, who at least knew what he was going in for. Also, I've always kinda wanted Dean to have to kill him - I never figured that Benny would AGREE to that.
Anyway, good acting. Their voices said what the words didn't, and Dean's face just broke my heart. Damn, that guy can act.

Oh, you know, Hell was interesting. I mean, why don't they lock the doors? And ... does it mean they have some souls just waiting for a bit and others (Dean) being constantly on the rack? The screams were bad, but that strange healthy girl freaked me out! Poor, poor girl... Good thing they already knew which soul to take out, or they'd have serious problems deciding.

Bobby's refusing to go into retirement tooth and nail. The thing is though, I don't think going to heaven necessarily HAS to mean retirement for Bobby. Can you imagine the havoc Bobby and Ash could cause if they teamed up?

haha, that's an interesting thought! I agree, Bobby REALLY didn't want to leave. He wants to stay, and I think it's not *just* about the Winchesters, but also for his own sake.

It was easier before to be like "Dean doesn't have time to be someone's A&A sponsor!" But now I'm like "Dean! You're friend was super lonely! Why didn't you go visit him!?!"
I always felt it depressing that Dean thought the only way to keep Sam is letting his friend go. Kinda like those stories you read about two guys in love, and one has a family that doesn't tolerate homosexuality.
Do you decide to leave with your boyfriend? Or do you stick with the people that raised you, loved you, nurtured you?
IS it really love if there are conditions attached?

Dean decided that it doesn't matter if that's really love (still figuratively speaking, since Sam does love Dean. He's a bit weird in showing that some days, but he sure does) because for Dean it's much more important that HE does love his family. More even than his friend, which breaks his heart but well.. we all knew what he'd choose.

I also think it's depressing that Sam was still so pissed that he made that ultimatum and never gave Benny a chance - and he now knows he was wrong. A bit late.

She's obviously bad! She's also obviously an angel - so there goes those fan theories.
The more I see her and Crowley, the more I think Meg and Cas weren't the first two who overstepped fixed boundaries ;-)

Interesting theory with the demon-woman being an angel. I only thought it was a demon higher up, and since Crowley is such a friend of order in his life (and Hell? Maybe HE made those cells and organized it? Wsn't there something when he worked with Cas (dude... that bastard - as much as I like Cas, you shouldn't really go and THINK about all the things he did. Huh...) he just likes his underlings that he's around often wear good clothes? I'd say he really IS that much of a snob.

I'm not really worried so much. Just curious what else will happen _ I was completely surprised to see my favourite curmudgeon again.
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ammluvGK
Apr. 6th, 2013 08:16 pm (UTC)
I loved the bit with Kevin and the frying pan, mostly as it made me think of Tangled and some fans idea that Jensen looks like Rapunzel. It made me smile.

Bobby summoned Crowley to his home before and had a devil's trap painted, just used UV paint. And Crowley was also summoned and trapped when Dean, Sam and Bobby wanted to conspire against Castiel.

The thing about Ajay taking Bobby's soul to Hell, he explained. Crowley used Ajay's services to have Bobby's soul be brought to Hell, it's why he is considered an innocent. It explains then that ghosts are treated basically the same way as humans are in the decision of where they go for their afterlife.

I was one of the people wanting Adam to be freed, but at the same time I knew it was unrealistic and probably wouldn't fit the requirement for the second task. But I thought it was Purgatory that was Hell adjacent and that the Cage was buried deep in the boughs of Hell...

I'm totally with you on the Naomi-hating. She's so manipulative. But Amanda Tapping does such a fabulous job. It was at this point that she informed Dean that Sam was in Purgatory. The boys don't interact with Crowley until he makes an attempt to stop Bobby's soul from jetting off to heaven.

In regards to the Reaper mythology they've previously created, could it be that it differs for Rogue Reapers? It could be possible that Ajay has a corporeal form and can be killed without Death's scythe because he's turned his back on his orders of who he has to reap and to where. With him being a rogue he probably no longer has the backing of my favourite Horseman, which leaves him vulnerable especially to someone with as much power as Crowley has.

The Dean/Benny scenes near killed me. I had tears gathering in my eyes and everything. Ty and Jensen did a truly amazing job on their respective performances. It did make me choke up a little, especially because I've loved Benny from the moment we first met him.

I would just like to point out that you missed out how Sam left the backdoor into Hell open. With the way the camera panned I'm thinking something will come of that carelessness.

I'm definitely on the train that the angels have once again got their hands on our current Prophet. Possibly it could be to help him translate the demon tablet quicker seeing as they seem pretty keen to shut the gates of Hell. But I'm also thinking that maybe as a Prophet, Kevin can only focus on one tablet at a time so once the demon tablet has been translated, Kevin's Prophet senses will get a-tingling for the angel tablet.

Edited at 2013-04-06 08:27 pm (UTC)
hells_half_acre
Apr. 6th, 2013 08:34 pm (UTC)
Bobby summoned Crowley to his home before and had a devil's trap painted, just used UV paint.

They also summoned him into one in 7x01, I had just completely forgotten.

The thing about Ajay taking Bobby's soul to Hell, he explained. Crowley used Ajay's services to have Bobby's soul be brought to Hell, it's why he is considered an innocent.

Ah, I didn't realize that Crowley had employed Ajay to get to Bobby first... which I should have done, since, as you say, it explains why Bobby qualifies as innocent. I was too distracted during that scene, because when Ajay was talking about being Bobby's reaper, I was momentarily confused because I was only thinking about his FIRST reaper...and then my friend started talking about how she had been spoiled for Bobby's return... and so between those two things, I missed some of the dialogue.

But I thought it was Purgatory that was Hell adjacent and that the Cage was buried deep in the boughs of Hell...

Purgatory is Hell adjacent. But I don't think they ever say where the cage is. I don't think it's necessarily reachable by Hell or qualifies as part of Hell. After all, Azazel had to find the entrance to it from Earth.

It was at this point that she informed Dean that Sam was in Purgatory.

Oh man! THANK YOU. You're the first person to actually remind me how Dean got that information - it's been driving me nuts.

In regards to the Reaper mythology they've previously created, could it be that it differs for Rogue Reapers?

This seems to be the most popular justification - and I'm coming 'round to it. So, I'm less pissed off than I was before.

Ty and Jensen did a truly amazing job on their respective performances. It did make me choke up a little, especially because I've loved Benny from the moment we first met him.

I agree, Ty and Jensen knocked it out of the park. I didn't cry, because I have no soul, but I WAS moved - which is a lot coming from me. It took me a while to warm up to Benny, but I'm sad now to see him go.

I would just like to point out that you missed out how Sam left the backdoor into Hell open. With the way the camera panned I'm thinking something will come of that carelessness.

Did I not mention that?! I agree with you - I don't think that was a wise move. There was obviously a rock against it for a reason.

Possibly it could be to help him translate the demon tablet quicker seeing as they seem pretty keen to shut the gates of Hell. But I'm also thinking that maybe as a Prophet, Kevin can only focus on one tablet at a time so once the demon tablet has been translated, Kevin's Prophet senses will get a-tingling for the angel tablet.

Interesting theory! I guess we'll have to wait and see. It would explain why Kevin didn't know about the demon tablet until Crowley showed it to him - before that the leviathan tablet occupied all his attention.

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